Tuesday, 16 September 2008
I'll admit that when i made the decision to fly back early to do a Glasshouse event the one race on my mind was to do the 100 Miler (not having done it since 2005, the last time i was in the country at the same time as these September Glasshouse events), but between a still lingering cold, gastro in Singapore and jetlag i'd eventually entered the 50K (i know i was told a number of times to not refer to it as "only 50" so won't again) with the thought of upgrading on the Friday after having had bit of a look at the course on "UCB's Tour" as after all i had no idea what weather conditions had been since last here. Still had lingering doubts about pushing myself for any longer distances as i questioned just how physically recovered i was and i guess after the post TG events i didn't quite have my usual mental toughness. Obviously my body had the right idea when i woke up and it was 5:45, too late to upgrade to the 100K .
Probably 10AM is the latest i can ever remember starting a morning race, but i know that came about so that the time needed by the aid station people was minimised so certainly not an issue, and was beautiful and warm when we started at checkpoint 8. Strange to think in the old days it was the 100 Mile field of just over a handful followed out by a much larger 50K (used to be 55 ??) field, now things were reversed with a field of only 6.
We all walked up the hill and once up i reckoned my only chance was to run first early and simply break the rest, didn't quite work NZ Girl Deb was close behind, although not close enough to spot the 3 to 4 foot black snake crossing the trail just in front of me at around 6K's, and when we hit the final uphill to the aidstation i was quite happy to let her take over (with the thought i still had 40 odd K's to catch her).
All was good at the aid station, but from there on simply my body didn't want to be out there, threw up within a few hundred metres of leaving it and then headed out into the bush with my toilet paper, seemed to still have that gastro (can't even recall doing more than drinking Endura at that aid station let alone eating ??). By the time i was back on the track John had caught up with me and we ran together for a while, as i'm not a person who appreciates being run with (anytime someone get's on my shoulder i'm definitely spurred on to get rid of them - it's just the way i race), that got me going a bit better but the gut really wasn't right.
Aid station at CP7 and then the loop, was quite happy to let John pass whilst i was standing eating Anzac Biscuits hoping that seeing someone to chase would help. Bottom line it would have if i could have kept him in sight, was struggling to run and was even beginning to feel my sciatic nerve now.
Finally get to the next aid station and was told i'd done 28K's, my only thought to myself being that the only way i'd DNF a 50K is that my body would have to have been found out there so i knew it was going to be a real slow last 20 odd K's. Heaps of motorbikes, some seemed like good blokes and gave encouragement, some seemed like w*nkers (and with those i kept on thinking "thank God i feel sh*t if i was my usual fired up self i'm not sure i'd have been responsible for my actions"), although i must admit coming to CP 5 i felt i got some revenge when casually walking up a hill passed 3 pushing a bike who were then yelling at their mate sitting on the side to give them a hand.
From CP5 at least i knew i'd finish, no sign of runners either in front or behind so it had been essentially a solo effort from CP7, really would have loved to stop longer - great fruitcake - but i knew the sooner i left the sooner it would be all over.
Not alot of running happening, sciatic nerve was not too bad (in comparision to some of the problems late last and early this year), but the gut really wasn't doing what it should (i'd given up on fruit at aid stations - seemed to make it worse, and had stuck to biscuits, cake etc) and all i wanted to do was get to that finish line.
Ultimately i made it in 6:33:08, almost 2 hours behind Deb and over a quarter of an hour behind John, really felt like a fraud taking 3rd place.
Certainly the run wasn't the highlight of my weekend, that would have been getting back together with all my Ultra family both on Friday and on the weekend. Great performances by all, i was going to list some of them but then realised i'd be going through virtually the whole field
A big thanks to Ian and to all the people at the aid stations, you'll have to put up with alot more of me next September, as with no Trans Gaule next year and probably a shorter US trip (all being well), i guess i'd better go out and prove i can still do 100 Milers back home.
When i think about it i can now claim to have done something probably only the Yiannis's and Dean Karnazes's of the Ultra World have only done before, Ultras in three different continents in the space of over a month:
August 5: Skyline 50K: San Francisco USA
August 15 to 31: La Transe Gaule: France Europe
September 13: Glasshouse 50K: Queensland Australia
3 Weeks till the next one (my 13th Tamborine Trek, only a 20 odd minute drive up the road), followed the week after by the Melbourne Marathon, the place my running career began, in the meantime i think it's a break from running and a wander down the road to the local beach side sculpture exhibition
http://www.swellsculpture.com.au/welcome/page2.php , with a week before worrying about work maybe that Badwater report may get done as well.